FTER four years of testing, project teams chose
building an artificial reef. After pumping
sand to grow the beach, they created the
artificial reef to keep the sand in place.
The approximately 175-by-87 yard reef was completed
in 2019 for a cost of around $12.5 million. The design
channels swell energy into a continuous and predictable
wave that runs for around 65 yards, more on a good day.
Video of the wave, which started with refining an under-water
submerged breakwater into a shape that refracts
swell energy into a shallow crest, is available online.
Palm Beach County, Florida, has been creating arti-ficial
reefs for 40 years. Using materials including lime-stone,
concrete and decommissioned ships, the county
has provided an arena for diving, snorkeling and fishing.
Along with creating a spawning habitat for marine
life, the reefs provide around 1,800 jobs and generate
substantial funds for the economy.
“These habitats provide protection from predation and
serve as recovery zones for all sorts of ocean life,” Rodan
says. “A complex and varied reef architecture is essential
for creating a sustainable and balanced ecosystem.”
Just off the coast at South Beach in Miami, the
proposed Reef Line will be a public sculpture park,
snorkel trail, and artificial reef. The project, which will
run for roughly nine miles when complete, is intended
to provide a habitat for marine life, promote biodiversity,
and increase coastal resilience.
Top: A dolphin-shaped artificial reef is part of a network of reef structures in the Florida panhandle designed for snorkelers, easily accessible from
shore using a kayak or paddleboard. Middle: Divers explore the USNS Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, which rests in approximately 150 feet of water in
the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Bottom: The Vandenberg, a former missile-tracking ship, sinks into the Atlantic to become the second
largest artificial reef in the world in May 2015.
COURTESY OF V COURTESY OF FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE/KEITH MILLE COURTESY OF FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE/TIM DONOVAN ISIT SOUTH WALTON FLORIDA